Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ - Today's Mass Readings - Christmas, December 25, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 52:7-10 (or Isaiah 9:1-6)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” Hark! Your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion. Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the Lord comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.
P S A L M - Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6 (or Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13)
R: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) Sing praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the Lord. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 1:1-6 (or Titus 2:11-14)
Brothers and sisters: In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word. When he had accomplished purification from sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you”? Or again: “I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me”? And again, when he leads the first-born into the world, he says: “Let all the angels of God worship him.”
A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. For today a great light has come upon the earth.
John 1:1-18 (or Luke 2:1-14)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. 12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’’ 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.



Merry Christmas to you and may Christ be born again in your hearts!

       St. John of the Cross says that God has spoken His Word; He has nothing else to say. Today, we celebrate the Word made flesh, Jesus who has united His divinity with our humanity. To quote a Father of the Church: “One of us is God.” The author of Hebrews proclaims that God has spoken to us through His Son. Today is the Day of Fire, the Fire of God’s love. Today we are united in the Son, giving glory to the Father for having saved His people through His visitation. We are called sons and daughters of God: You are my son, today I have become your Father.

       In the midst of our celebrations, it would be good to take time to reflect upon God who has taken upon Himself the fullness of humanity. See God’s humility in becoming like one of us, except having sinned. Jesus will grow and mature as a young man. He will live in a small village, learn a trade and study the Scriptures. He will die on a Cross for our salvation, destroying the defilement of sin.

       Jesus wants to be born again in our lives. Just as He was given a place in the stable, we open our hearts and lives to be that place, the throne whereby God takes His rightful place. For many years, we have been under the power of the evil one, who has ruled the world. Jesus, according to the author of Hebrews, is the radiant light of God’s glory, sustaining the universe by His powerful command. He has come to conquer sin and death. We are now reunited to Him since He is at the right hand of the Father; from thence He has taken His place to reign and rule. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Contemplate the baby in the manger. Acknowledge His greatness and humility and power. To us a Child is born, for us a Child is given.

Thank You, Father, for remembering Your truth and love for Your people. Amen.

St. Eugenia, pray for us.

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